Answering to a question in Parliament on Wednesday, Wickremsinghe said Indian government has informed that 3,815 Sri Lankan refugees living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu have expressed their willingness to come back to Sri Lanka.
He asserted that the Ministry of Resettlement is working on providing permanent land, housing, livelihood assistance and facilities to the returning families.
The Premier said that the refugees currently living in Tamil Nadu are being assisted through the Sri Lankan High Commission in Chennai to obtain the necessary documents including birth certificates for children born in India, citizenship certificates and passports. He added that the relevant gazette notification has been amended to exempt them from paying the fees since some of the refugees cannot afford it.
Wickremsinghe informed the house that 9,509 Sri Lankan refugees have voluntarily returned since 2010 under the patronage of the United Nations Refugee Organization (UNHCR). However, around one lakh Sri Lankan Tamils who migrated during the three decades long LTTE war, still reside in India, inside or outside the refugee camps.